Barwell Meteorite BM1966,64

Whole Object Name

Barwell Meteorite BM1966,64

Collection

Space Rocks

Description

This Barwell meteorite sample was part of the UK's largest recorded meteorite fall. It fell to Earth in the village of Barwell on Christmas Eve 1965 - less than 15 miles from the National Space Centre. In total around 44 kilograms of meteorite were discovered, as meteorite hunters descended on the Leicestershire village.

Barwell is a Stony meteorite, of the ordinary chondrite group. It contains chondrules - small round mineral grains, believed to be the building blocks of the rocky inner planets. They formed as molten droplets in space, before joining together with other materials to form larger objects like asteroids. Chondrules are some of the oldest solid material in the Solar System, and when they are present in a meteorite like this one, we know that they have not melted since they were first formed. This means that they have not changed for 4.55 billion years - making them older than the Earth.

The Barwell meteorite fall caused minor damage around the village, with one meteorite crashing into a car. Unsure of what had happened, the car's owner threw the meteorite away into a neighbouring field. Once he realised what he had lost, he sadly never found the piece again - it would have paid for a new car. Trying to claim on insurance, the car's owner was told that it was considered an 'act of God' by his insurance company - and therefore they would not pay out. He took his claim up with the local church, who also refused to pay out.

Object number

2001-52
  • image Barwell Meteorite sample BM1966,64. On loan from the Natural History Museum, London
  • image Barwell Meteorite sample BM1966,64. On loan from the Natural History Museum, London
  • image Barwell Meteorite sample BM1966,64. On loan from the Natural History Museum, London
  • image The Barwell meteorite sample being returned to the village to mark the addition of a Green Plaque commemorating the fall - Credit: Leicestershire County Council
  • image Barwell Meteorite sample BM1966,64. On loan from the Natural History Museum, London
  • image Barwell Meteorite sample BM1966,64. On loan from the Natural History Museum, London
  • image Barwell Meteorite sample BM1966,64. On loan from the Natural History Museum, London
  • image The Barwell meteorite sample being returned to the village to mark the addition of a Green Plaque commemorating the fall - Credit: Leicestershire County Council

Audio

Meteorites and Fusion Crust

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